DUDDÉ RANDAAYI Curried Gourd with Black Chick peas and Teppal

Randaayi is a curried dish with a soupy gravy and generally contains coconut and red chillies and is a combination of beans and some kind of meaty vegetable like plantain, yam, gourd or pumpkin. Teppal or Tirphal (not to be confused with the herbal medicine Triphala) is an astringent spice belonging to the same family as Mapo or Sichuan berries and is commonly used in cooking along the Konkan coast. It is served with chapatis or rice. It can also be served with a thick dosa to soak up all the gravy.

Ingredients for 4-5 servings

Dudde randaayi

100 gms whole black Bengal gram/kala chana

500 gms bottle gourd or ash gourd, seeds removed, peeled, cut into 1” cubes ½ tsp turmeric powder

4-5 triphala or Sichuan berries, smashed but not powdered or 6-7 cloves garlic, smashed

1-1½ tsp salt or to taste

Spice paste

5-6 dried red Byadgi or Kashmiri chillies, stalks removed

½ cup grated fresh; or frozen, defrosted, unsweetened coconut

1 tsp tamarind paste

1 tsp grated jaggery Tempering

8 fresh green curry leaves torn

Pinch asafoetida

1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

2 tbsp vegetable oil

Method Wash the gram and soak it in excess water overnight. Drain and rinse thoroughly. Pressure-cook the gram with 3 cups of water on high heat for 25 minutes after the cooker reaches full pressure. Alternatively, put the gram in a pan with 5 cups of water, cover tightly and cook on high heat for 35-40 minutes, till tender. Drain and reserve. Toast the red chillies for the spice paste in a dry skillet, till fragrant. Cool and grind the red chillies with coconut, jaggery and tamarind to make a smooth paste. Add a little water to facilitate the grinding. Add the gourd, turmeric powder, teppal or smashed garlic and spice paste to the cooked gram. Heat oil in a small skillet on high heat. Add cumin seeds, then curry leaves and then the asafoetida and cook 30-60 seconds until spices are fragrant and splutter. Pour this over the gourd and stir well. Add 1-2 cups of water to get the desired consistency and simmer, till the gourd is tender. Add salt to taste. Serve with plain, boiled, white or brown rice, neer dosa or paan pole.